Botswana: Private Alumni Safari with Andy Biggs and Grant Atkinson

July 19-28, 2014

Safari Leaders: Andy Biggs and Grant Atkinson

Please see our Safaris and Workshops section for more workshop and safari dates.
 

Lion in the Grass, Okvango Delta, Botswana

About The Photographic Safari

In July 2014, Andy Biggs and Grant Atkinson will lead a private group of photographers into Botswana's prime wildlife areas. This safari combines some of the finest wildlife photography anywhere, Botswana's best safari camps, and photographic and digital workflow instruction. We have selected specific camps in Botswana's southern Okavango Delta and Linyanti Wildlife Reserve to create a private safari geared specifically toward serious photography and game viewing.
 

Safari Highlights

• We have private vehicles throughout the entire safari, with only 1 person per row of seating (the vehicles have 3 rows behind the driver, plus a seat next to the driver if you want to be lower down to the ground.)
• Safari is limited to 10 participants.
• We will fly to Botswana in our private charter, a Beechcraft 1900 aircraft.
• A very generous amount of weight per person for your luggage of up to 50 kilograms. Bring as much gear as you can! Standard weight allowance is typically only 44 pounds by comparison.
• Knowledgeable and passionate safari guides in Botswana will drive us in open Land Rovers to help us get the images we are after.
• This safari offers superb game viewing and photographic opportunities in some of the best areas in Southern Africa.
• This itinerary focuses on a real wildlife experience from the surroundings of your premier accommodations.
• The reserves you will visit offer an insight to the fantastic wildlife in Botswana.


Legadema the Leopard, Okvango Delta, Botswana

The Schedule

19-20 July 2014; (1 night)
D'Oreale Grand Hotel - Emperor's Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa
Stay close to the airport at the D'oreale Grande at Emperor's Palace. On your arrival at Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport, and after clearing customs and collecting your luggage, you will be met by an Eyes on Africa representative, who will transfer you by road to the D'oreale Grande.

The D'oreale Grande at Emperors Palace is a five-star hotel, luxuriously adorned with hand painted murals and frescos, marble floors, plush carpets, and intricate mosaics. The hotel was recently accepted as a member of Great Hotels of the World – Luxury Collection.

All rooms incorporate air-conditioning, multi-channel satellite TV, complimentary wireless internet access (Wi-Fi) and the convenience of 24-hour room services. Guests can dine at the elegant conservatory-styled Aurelia's restaurant, meet or relax in private conclaves of the reception area, absorb the gentle strains of the piano in the Aurelia's Lounge and Cocktail Bar, or sip on a cocktail while watching the African sunset from a lounge or cocktail bar in the manicured and terraced gardens of the hotel.

The group will transfer back to OR Tambo airport the next morning, where we catch our private charter flight to Maun, Botswana.

20-24 July 2014; (4 Nights)
Selinda Camp - Selinda Reserve, Botswana

On arrival at Selinda airstrip after a short flight form Maun, we will be met and transferred to camp in open Land Rovers.

Selinda Camp is a small, wonderful, luxury tented safari camp that is situated on the banks of the eastern Selinda Spillway - a waterway that links Botswana's Okavango Delta to the Linyanti and Kwando marshes, rivers and floodplains. The shaded camp is raised a meter or so off the ground and offers extraordinary views over the floodplains, waterways and wide open savannas which are only broken by distinctive and attractive palm islands. It is these views that are one of Selinda's most compelling features. Guests sit on their verandas while enjoying their meals and gaze pensively over the floodplains of Africa enjoying the passing wildlife as it has done for millennia. There is hardly a moment which goes by without animals in front of camp.

The Selinda Reserve is one of the best locations in Botswana for African wild dogs, and on my last visit in September 2012 we had wild dogs in and around camp for three straight days. On one of our days we had the dogs hunting *inside camp* and chased an impala through the dining room as we were only feet away. What an awesome experience I will never ever forget.

Selinda Camp is located in the 300,000 acre (135,000 hectare) Selinda Reserve, one of Botswana's prime wildlife viewing locations and most beautiful settings. The Selinda Reserve is fortunate in that it is the only reserve that straddles both the Okavango Delta in the west and the Linyanti waterways and savannahs in the east. The Selinda Reserve follows the course of the Selinda Spillway as it connects the Okavango to the Linyanti / Kwando river systems. The Selinda Spillway is like no other. It is a river that can flow in two directions, depending on where the water levels are the highest. In most years it flows in both directions with water pushing 'up' from the Linyanti waterways and also 'down' from the west, fed by the waters of the Okavango Delta

The Selinda Reserve is one of Botswana's famous wildlife 'concessions' or private reserves that offers all the privacy that Botswana is famous for. At the same time, guests to the Selinda can enjoy wildlife viewing at a level that Chobe National Park is famous for - but without any of the crowds and without the restrictive rules and regulations that are needed in areas of high tourism density. The Selinda Reserve has a network of small tracks that traverse the area, and if there is something special on the go, we can go 'off-road' sensitively when there is something exceptionable. There are still places in this reserve where no person has ever set foot before.


24-28 July 2014; (4 Nights)
Chitabe Camp- Okavango Delta, Botswana

On arrival at Chitabe airstrip after a short 15-minute flight form Selinda, we will be met and transferred to camp (a 45-minute game drive in open Land Rovers). 

Our group will have the exclusive use of the camp throughout our 4-day stay at Chitabe and we will set our own hours and schedule to allow us to take full advantage of photographic opportunities.

Chitabe Camp is located in a 28,000-hectare photographic reserve built on one of the most beautiful islands in the Okavango Delta. The area is made up of a superb variety of habitats, which include waterways and marshlands, dry acacia and mopane woodland, riverine areas, open grasslands and seasonally flooded plains.

Chitabe offers guests game drives in open 4x4 vehicles during the day and at night accompanied by an experienced guide, as well as nature walks. Chitabe is strictly a game viewing camp - no water activities are offered here.

Game viewing is excellent here, and includes Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Reedbuck, Lechwe, Impala, Zebra and Hippo. Wild Dogs are among the major attractions of this area and a long-standing program to study the Wild Dogs is based nearby (read more on the Wild Dogs below). Night drives can be very rewarding with good sightings of the rarer nocturnal animals such as Pangolin, Civet, Serval, Genet, Porcupine and Aardwolf. Guests will also likely see Zebra, Reedbuck, Red Lechwe, Impala and all the plains game. Chitabe offers some of the most consistently superb game viewing in all of Botswana.

Chitabe has aided in the support of the Botswana Wild Dog Research Project, which was established by Dr Tico McNutt in 1989. The Wild Dog Project has a study area of about 3000 square kilometers. About 160 wild dogs in ten to twelve packs inhabit this region and Chitabe lies within this study area. Dr. "Tico" McNutt and the wild dogs featured in the May 1999 edition of National Geographic Magazine.

28 July 2014

Private charter back to Maun after the morning safari activity for our private flight back to Johannesburg . International flights may be scheduled to depart that evening (if feasible) to home destinations or an additional night hotel stay can be arranged for you upon request (recommended). See note below regarding travel extensions.

NOTE: We are planning on running a pre-safari in South Africa before this Botswana safari. Please let us know if you have any measured interest. We are putting the details together right now.

The Cost

We have 8 rooms at each of the camps, which means 2 of the rooms will be sharing accommodations and 6 rooms will be single accommodations. The costs are as follows:

Sharing room (2 available) = $18,250 (if paying by bank transfer or cheque) or $18,745 if paying by credit card
Single room (6 available) = $19,410 (if paying by bank transfer or cheque) or $19,995 if paying by credit card


The costs of this all-inclusive safari is listed above (inclusive of round-trip private flight to Maun, Botswana). The same rate applies for each participant regardless of whether they are doing photography or not. This fee includes all in-country ground and air transportation as well as hotel accommodation and all meals.

Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participant.

 

Elephant in the Water, Okvango Delta, Botswana

 

What's Included?

• Accommodation on safari at Selinda and Chitabe camps
• Round-trip chartered flight between Johannesburg, South Africa and Maun, Botswana on a Beechcraft 1900 aircraft
• Air charters between safari camps in Botswana
• 3 x Private vehicles (open Land Rovers) at all camps
• 2 x Professional photographers leading the trip (Andy Biggs and Grant Atkinson)
• All safari activities
• Services of the lodge guides & staff
• Relevant park fees
• All meals and drinks while in Botswana (excluding premium brands)
• Daily laundry
• The current Tourism Levies and all relevant Value Added Tax or Government Sales Taxes

 

What's Not Included?

• International airfare and/or other transportation between your home and Johannesburg
• Visas
• Travel Insurance
• Personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.)
• Gratuities
• Optional extra activities (helicopter flights, etc.)
• Pre- and post- safari tours
• Meals or accommodation before or after the safari (except as noted in the detailed itinerary)

 

What Do I Do Next?

Our groups are small, so space is limited. If this exciting trip has your name on it; if you're excited by the thought of becoming a member of this trip, then now is the time to register. Remember, there will be limited space available for this workshop. When they're spoken for, that's it. If you have any questions before registering, send us an e-mail with any inquiries to info@andybiggs.com.